April 19, 1775 is one of the more interesting days in history. Most people think that on July 4,1776 the War for Independence just spontaneously kicked of but the war had been raging for almost 10 months.
On April 19, 1775 the battles of Concord and Lexington were fought. The Colonists faced down the King’s Redcoats as they came to seize their military stores. The first shots were fired at Concord bridge as the armed farmers made the statement that they would rather be citizens than subjects and that in no uncertain terms would they consent to being disarmed by the Crown.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) sums it better than I ever could in the words he wrote for the dedication of the Concord Battle Monument on July 4, 1837.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
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